Four major challenges Pep Guardiola will face with Manchester City

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Pep Guardiola boasts a stellar record as a manager, with success following the former Barcelona player wherever he goes. 

The former Bayern Munich manager is used to competing at the very top level, with expectations to win both the domestic title, as well as the Champions League, every season, as evident from his stints with Barcelona and the Bavarian club.

As Manchester City boss, the 45-year-old will face a whole different challenge, of not only managing in a new league, but going up against some of the best managers in the world.


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The Premier League is bound to provide the tactician with several obstacles, which could likely disrupt the former Spanish international's bid to bring immediate success to the club. 

Here are just four issues Guardiola may face at the Etihad Stadium.

Demanding Nature of the League

First and foremost, the weather in England is distinctly different from both Spain and Germany. It might sound like an insignificant factor in terms of managing, but the training and health of the players are serious considerations when it comes to the changing weather during the season. 

The cold and wet winter months in particular, provide a challenge that none of the other top leagues across Europe pose. The Premier League is the only competition in the continent that not only continues, but picks up pace during the grueling Christmas period, with teams usually playing around four to five games in the space of 10 days. 

That period often proves to be the deciding factor in the title race, as teams either gain advantage over their rivals, or fall out of contention. 

It is, therefore, very important to have decent squad depth, with the ability to rotate the first team as required; the tight schedule making it almost impossible to field the same starting eleven game after game. 

The fast and physical nature of the league poses yet another challenge, something that is minimal in the La Liga or the Bundesliga. There is less time on the ball and the play often tends to be direct, especially when it comes to the weaker teams. 

Used to keeping a lot of possession during a game, it will be interesting to see if Guardiola chooses to adopt similar tactics in England. If the Spanish manager does choose to deploy his tried and tested routine of quick passing and movement with City, he will have to make sure that he has the players who can adapt to that style.

Stiff Competition

Considered as one of the most competitive leagues in Europe, if not the most, the Premier League is set to become even more tougher next season with the arrival of some key managers. 

In addition to Guardiola, master tacticians Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte are set to take over managerial responsibilities at Manchester United and Chelsea respectively. These two clubs are expected to contend for the title almost immediately after experiencing rather average campaigns last season. 

According to the Evening Standard, Guardiola has already acknowledged the threat posed by Conte, saying: "Conte is a master tactician".

He added: "It's a very good signing. It's going to be very interesting competing against him and other top coaches.", emphasising the serious competition expected during the upcoming season. 

Existing Liverpool and Arsenal managers, Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger, are used to success as well, and will surely push for the top four next season. 

Let's not forget Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, who were the top two for the majority of the season last campaign.

Other impressive sides who could potentially challenge for the top four are Slaven Bilic's West Ham United and Claude Puel's Southampton, both having put up a strong fight last year. 

Having acquired the services of the impressive Ronald Koeman, Everton are likely to experience a resurgence next season after falling into mediocrity in recent times. Comprising quality players such as Romelu Lukaku, Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman, and John Stones, there is no reason why the Dutch manager cannot bring the Toffees back to European contention. 

Apart from the aforementioned teams, the league also consists of smaller teams that are capable of causing the occasional upset, unlike in Spain, Germany, France, and Italy, where the league is dominated by one or two clubs, leaving the rest to pick up the scraps. 

Used to Deploying the Best Players in the World

Guardiola has always been able to deploy some of the best players in the world during his managerial career. 

At Barcelona he had at his disposal the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves, Xavi, and several others who are considered the cream of the crop. 

Players like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Phillip Lahm, Xabi Alonso, and others also provided immense quality, in addition to experience, at Bayern. 

Despite comprising highly talented players, City do not nearly boast the same level of players at Guardiola's previous clubs. 

The likes of David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne, Yaya Toure, and Sergio Aguero are some of the more established and notable individuals in the squad, but barring them, the rest of the team could use some injection of quality. 

Unlike Barca and Bayern, City do not have the luxury of installing world-class players in each and every position in the first team, and that is something the Spanish manager will have to contend with. 

Having said that, the endless amount of funds available to the Spaniard, with the help of City's rich Arab owners, provides the manager with some flexibility in forming a side in his own vision, allowing the Spaniard to essentially cherry pick his desired players. 

City's Dependence on a Few Players

Following from the last point, the aforementioned City players form the backbone of the side, and the lack of even one of them has often seen a decline in quality of the entire team. 

The absence of dynamic captain Kompany has hurt the team greatly, as he provides an imposing and commanding presence at the back. 

Guardiola expressed in a recent interview that it is his "dream" to see the Belgian defender fit, something that could be a key factor in their campaign next season.

Players such as Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis have not been able to step up for the team and have been seen to make crucial mistakes at the back in the absence of their charismatic captain last season. 

Aguero is arguably one of the best strikers in the world, able to create an opportunity solely on his own merit. The combination of De Bruyne, Silva, and Aguero has shown glimpses of potentially devastating attacks, but keeping the trio fit is yet another hurdle for club. 

In order to overcome this dependence on a few key players, Guardiola needs to bring in quality reinforcements, capable of slotting into the team when needed, whereby reducing the burden on the above players. 

Guardiola realises the mammoth task that awaits him when he takes charge at the Etihad, and has expressed the need to bolster the squad ahead of the new Premier League season.

Having already acquired the signatures of Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito, the young manager has wasted no time in getting down to serious business. 

How will Pep Guardiola get on at Manchester City? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!

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Vincent Kompany
Premier League
Gnegneri Toure Yaya
David Silva
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero
Kevin De Bruyne

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